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  • Writer's pictureValerie Davis

GivingTuesday Tips to Boost Your 2021 Year-End

Why is GivingTuesday important?

Last year in 2020 $2.47 billion in donations were given on GivingTuesday in the U.S. This was a 25% increase from 2019, and after Americans generously gave $503 million in online donations on May 5, 2020 during the #GivingTuesdayNow campaign that launched as an emergency response to the needs created by COVID-19.

What is GivingTuesday and When is it?

GivingTuesday is a global movement that encourages and inspires people to give and do good.

According to, “GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe.”

This year GivingTuesday is on November 30, 2021, and it is always on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day.

Some challenges that I have heard –

“There’s just too much “noise” to get noticed.” Translation: I don’t think it’s worth my time.

“My friends tell me that small nonprofits are not seeing results.” Translation: I don’t feel we have the resources to create a successful campaign.

“We’re just not ready to participate this year, so we’ll do it next year.” Translation: I’m tired, I don’t see the value, and I don’t feel I have the energy.

The good news – It’s not about you.

GivingTuesday is about your supporters. It’s the perfect time to share about the work you do, why you do it, and who it helps. And it’s the perfect time to highlight the impact of your donors, volunteers, and staff who make it all possible. It’s a time to highlight those you serve, their struggles and successes.

My three favorite things about being a fundraiser are: 1) connecting with people; 2) thanking people; and 3) offering people the opportunity to give

Offering the opportunity to give means asking for help. So, asking people to join with you during this global day of giving to accomplish (insert your objective here) is giving them the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves. If you decide to do a thank-a-thon, ask your supporters to join you by adding their personal thanks in the form of a call, card, or email – be creative – you know what works best for your situation.

Use GivingTuesday to boost your year-end.

  • Define your strategy and goals – Set realistic goals based on what you raised during GivingTuesday last year. If you did not raise money last year, then start slow. Determine if a better strategy for you would be to conduct a thank-a-thon or build a campaign soliciting for in-kind items.

  • Create an action plan – Define who does what and when. Determine if securing a gift match would work for you, and the match must be achievable. Take advantage of opportunities to partner with other nonprofits to spread the word in your local community.

  • Engage your board – Determine specific ways they can participate, and provide them with the tools they need to be successful, items such as prepared talking points, email templates, links to your donation page, and any other pertinent materials.

  • Tell your story – Create a communications plan. Craft compelling messaging that is designed for your targeted audience. Use short videos and pictures – often the most impactful way to share your message.

  • Include a call to action – such as clicking on a link to your website to read the full story if doing a thank-a-thon, and make it easy for those reading the full story to sign up for your newsletter (preferably having a sign-up form on that same page). Be sure you are collecting first name, last name, and email on your sign-up forms so that you can segment and personalize future messages.

  • If you are asking for money make it easy to donate, make it clear, offer a secure online payment processing option, and use links to your donation page.

  • Plan a proper thanks – This is not a gift receipt. Be sure to segment your new donors so that they get thanked as a new donor, and make sure they receive future communications that more deeply engage them with your mission before you ask for a second gift. Make sure every donor receives a thank you that talks about the impact they made.

In conclusion, I encourage you to participate in GivingTuesday, and give your supporters the opportunity to join with you on this global day of giving and kindness.

Together, let’s grow philanthropy around the world!

Valerie Davis

Philanthropy Focus

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